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jtay

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jtay last won the day on June 15 2011

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About jtay

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  • Birthday 02/21/1986

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  1. So I had an idea recently that I want to run by everyone here. If I, or any composer for that matter, were to post time-lapse videos of them doing their composing on Youtube, do you think they attract much attention or get many views? Allow me to explain my idea further. Basically the composer would use a screen recording program, like Fraps, to record him writing a piece in his DAW (or Finale/Sibelius, or whatever else you might compose in) from start to finish. Then the footage would be sped up and the audio removed. After that, he would record a commentary track in which he might talk about the piece, music in general, play clips or ideas that he had along the way, or he could even just treat the commentary like a vlog. And of course at the end of the video the completed piece would played. The idea stems from a few different types of videos that I've watched on Youtube. There are "Let's Play" videos where people record themselves playing a video/computer game while commentating; and there are speed-painting videos where artists record themselves drawing something into Photoshop and speed up the footage. I enjoy both of these types of videos, and I thought it might be cool if I could turn composing into more of a visual art by drawing inspiration from them. I'm sure we would all agree that there is something visually appealing about seeing a finished score in Finale or a finished piece in a DAW window with all of its colorful tracks. Also, this was the cheapest way I could think of to make anything resembling a "music video." It's still not free, though. I'd like to get your opinions on the feasibility of this idea before I start considering spending the ~$200 I expect it will cost me to get the materials I need to give this a shot.
  2. I'm finding it hard to word this topic in paragraph form, so here are my questions in list form. -I hear some of composer X's work somewhere and really like it. -I want to draw from that style for my own compositions. -In particular I want to apply these styles in a cinematic way. (In the near future, I may get to score some student films.) -What is the best way to go about this? -Should I buy some scores and analyze them? -Are there particular analysis techniques that I should use for cinematic applications? -Should I write "practice compositions" where I attempt to duplicate the styles I want? -Am I over-thinking this? Thanks in advance for your answers.
  3. I graduated this past May with a B. A. in Music with a certificate in music composition, so I fall between categories as well. (I also double majored with Mechanical Engineering, so that way I can pay the bills. :toothygrin: ) I'm still deciding what styles of composition I'm going to focus on. Now that I'm out of school, getting performers is going to be a bit tougher. I'll still try to use my connections to the university to get my stuff performed. Since I play French horn, it will probably be easiest for me to get in with the horn and other brass professors. I'll probably try writing some (more) horn choir or brass ensemble stuff. I've also had a good idea for a percussion ensemble piece for a while, but finding percussionists can be a huge pain, at least at my school. I don't know if that piece will ever happen or not. Since I got Cubase 6 a few weeks ago, I'll probably use that for composing things using sample libraries and such just for posting them on the internet; maybe some webseries maker or something will find it and use it, we'll see. It will also be handy for when I want to make better sounding MIDI mockups of whatever concert music I've composed.
  4. I can buy that. So my next question then is how do gimmicky compositions make it out there? I know that there are far more gimmicky than my idea that have gained some notoriety (though they may not be performed very often).
  5. You're no fun. Let's say there's a hypothetical band director looking at different pieces to play. He sees a piece that says "for wind ensemble and vocalists," and he thinks, "I don't want to have to track down vocalists to do this piece." Then he sees a piece that says "for wind ensemble and pterodactyls," and he says, "What the heck is this?" Then he reads a little more about the piece. Maybe he likes it, maybe he doesn't, maybe he decides it's too much of a hassle to do, but I succeeded in at least getting him to read more about it. If it sticks in his memory well enough, maybe he'll mention it in the next "strange pieces I've heard of" conversation he has. The usage of "pterodactyls" instead of "vocalists" in the subtitle acts simultaneously as a source of intrigue for the audience, a source of comedy for the conductor and performers, and a marketing technique.
  6. You guessed it with number two. I think it is safe to assume that not everyone in your average audience is aware of the vocal technique known as the "pterodactyl screech." To the best of my knowledge it's most common in hardcore music and its various sub-genres, though I'm not sure I've ever heard it done in a song; maybe it's more of a live show thing. The idea was to use the title and program notes to pique the audience's interest, then introduce the screech midway into the piece to solidify the atmosphere. There would probably be at least two offstage vocalists, more if the technique is used a lot in close succession; it can be rather tiring. Depending on the volume of the sounds they were making, they might be miked and speakers would be used to bring their sound into the concert hall; then you could mix it all into a stereo or quadraphonic field. There couldn't be just one screech either; after the first one there would need to be others that continued to depict the scene: baby pterodactyls, various animalic emotions, etc. The concept came from a vague idea I presented to my composition professor before the end of the semester (before I graduated); I thought it would be cool to mix hardcore vocals in with a concert piece. I couldn't think of a way to make standard growls or screams work in a concert setting, and pig squeals only serve to be either creepy on simply imitative of pigs. I'm not going to write a piece about a farm; that sounds boring. The pterodactyl screech, though, seemed exotic enough to actually work well; it might be comparable to using a Mahler hammer, shotgun, cannon, or train whistle in a piece.
  7. jtay

    Handwritten?

    Depends on what you're writing. Under most circumstances, I would say just start with typing it a notation program. Maybe if you're just noodling around with what you're going to do next at the piano, then sure, writing is okay there. Or if what you're writing has REALLY weird notation (several pieces by George Crumb come to mind), then hand writing it would probably be best. Afterwards you can use a combination of a notation program and photoshop to clean it up before you give it to the performers.
  8. Maybe I should clarify. The title wouldn't be a joke. If you open the score you will find parts for Pterodactyls 1 and 2 (and maybe 3) right above the percussion line.
  9. If you saw the cover of the score for a piece that looked like this, would you want to play it? Or at least hear it? "Pterodactyl's Nest" for Wind Ensemble and Pterodactyls As of this moment, I'm thinking about writing said piece. Personally, I think it's rather intriguing and hilarious at the same time.
  10. Whenever I start composing something, I've got a really bad habit of exhausting all of my good ideas really quickly. All of those great melodies, effects, transitions, etc. wind up getting crammed close together and the piece turns out to be WAY to short. In general, writing any one piece that is over 3 minutes long is difficult for me. For a while now I've had a great idea for a project, or more accurately, a set of projects, that will require me to break this habit once and for all. Does anyone have some tips on how to plan out a composition? Diagrams, plots, charts, what is the best way to go about this?
  11. jtay

    Notation for Cajon

    Mreh, I wrote that post within an hour after I thought of the idea, so I didn't Google it. I figured it was an odd enough idea that other passers by might be mildly interested in it, plus I could use a few more posts and some interaction with people over the internet. I've got a bad habit lurking forums (as well as the rest of the internet) and never actually posting anything. Thanks for the link. That notation system will probably look better than whatever I would have come up with.
  12. I'm not the most familiar with the cajon (aka the drum box), but from what I've seen it's mostly used for improvising drum beats in situations where a whole drum set isn't feasible. Anyways, I'm thinking of writing a piece that will use the cajon, and I need to some advice from you percussionists out there on the best way to notate music for it. I figure I'll use standard percussion notation as a guideline (snare sounds on the 3rd space, kick sounds on the 1st space, etc.), but how should I go about calling for those "in between" sounds? Say for instance, I want a string of sixteenth notes to gradually progress from a low to a high snare sound. What would be the best way to notate something like that? Also, while I'm on the subject, I'm thinking that the cajon part will require a reverb effect to get the sound I want for the piece. From what I've seen, the cajon has a very dry sound that does not carry through a large room very well, and I want each sound to have a booming quality to it. For this, what do you think is the best way to mic a cajon? Front, back, side, inside, or some combination of the above? I'm aware that there are cajons with built in pickups, but I'm not sure if I'll have access to one of those.
  13. jtay

    Live performers via internet

    If I removed the "no electric keyboards" restriction, would anyone else be interested? I think it would be really cool to have at least a couple of people from elsewhere in the country joining in on the piece. These are the only dates and times you would need to be available: Rehearsal: Saturday April 30th 9:00am - ? Mountain Time Recital: Sunday May 8th 1:00pm - 2:00pm Mountain Time Very little, if any, outside practice will be necessary. You'll just need to have some patience while we work out kinks during the rehearsal.
  14. jtay

    Live performers via internet

    I updated the post with my new recital date and attached a copy of the performance notes and a few pages from the score for people to have a look at. If you decide that you want to play on the piece, I'll email you the full score. Also, PMs have been sent to Morgri and miss congeniality.
  15. jtay

    Live performers via internet

    I intend to finish writing the piece today. After that I just need to put some performance notes together (which I may do today if I'm feeling really on the ball). Once that's done I'll send it your way. :) Anyone else?
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